October 2013

October 2013

Learn What a VB Discover the Possibilities Workshop is all about in this Webinar

Ever think about attending the Discover the Possibilities workshop but not come because you didn’t really know if it was worth your time? On Tuesday, September 17, Master Photographer Mark Barnett presented a webinar all about exactly what goes on at the 3 day workshop held in San Marcos Texas…and it is a whole lot more than most may think. Yes, its center piece is learning how to implement projected backgrounds but it covers much more including lighting, posing, props, and marketing.


Attend the Next VB Workshop: October 14-16, 2013

Master Photographer, Mark Barnett, returns to San Marcos Texas to present the three day October workshop. If you want to learn all about using projected Virtual Backgrounds to stimulate your business through producing new and different work that others cannot do, this is THE workshop for you. Spend three solid days of learning and interacting with an exciting group of fellow professionals, some of whom may come from outside the USA.

For information and registration contact a helpful VB Consultant. We guarantee that you will find this to be one of the most valuable workshops you have ever taken.

New Mobile Phone Cameras have 40+ Megapixels 

If you are proud of your 20, 30 or even 40 megapixel camera you better watch out. It was made known recently that Blackberry is coming out with a 45 megapixel cell phone camera! And now AT & T has announced a similar camera. Nokia has a 41 mp phone on the market right now. We are sure Nikon and Canon are concerned. Many predict that traditional DSLR cameras will significantly decrease in sales as cell phone cameras take over.

Success for the professional is not measured in megapixels! It’s what the professional can put on those megapixels that others cannot. This is exactly what makes projected Virtual Backgrounds such a distinctive advantage. It lets you do so much more in the privacy of the area you call your studio.

Private VB Training is Available

If you can’t come to Texas, we can come to you. Private training is available at surprisingly reasonable rates. While our primary topic for training is the implementation of projected backgrounds, private training can cover so much more, dedicated to your special needs, right in your studio. There are ways to spring forward to a whole new level of creativity and success. Contact us for more information.

What does it Cost You to Not have a VB System? 

It could very well be the difference between thriving versus dying. Many studios today are dying including even the huge Walmart Studios, Olan Mills, K-Mart Studios, and Sears’s studios, in addition to many thousands of mom and pop operations.

What do all these dying and dead studios have in common? Basically, they were not producing anything that anyone with a cell phone camera could not do as well or better and for little or not cost. So, why should they pay a professional to do what they can have fun doing themselves? Fact is, they won’t.

They will hire a professional who produces product and provides them with an experience they can’t begin to do on their own. We are not saying that using projected Virtual Backgrounds and having a studio is a guarantee to a brighter future, but it certainly is a great beginning. There really aren’t many other choices. The digital revolution has dramatically changed the landscape for the professional photographer…but it has not eliminated the profession…at least not if the professional has adapted to the changes. Projected backgrounds and having a studio environment can indeed make a big difference. We dare anyone to find a better way to deal with the digital storm.

More ND Pro Media Inc. Images


Against All Odds

Partners thrive opening a brand new studio in 2012 when so many others are going out!

How did they do it?

At a time when we continually hear about the demise of the professional photographer, with thousands of studios closing and most others barely eking along, New York photographer, Nuby DeLeon and his partner Matthew Dorcas, decided it was time for them to move from their home based operation and open a downtown studio in Monticello, NY, a once thriving community that now has only 6,670 residents and a nearly deserted downtown business section. This was a little over a year ago and the partners haven’t looked back since. They are simply too busy.

What’s their secret? What are they doing that others are not doing? It’s really pretty basic. They concentrate on producing highly desirable product that people cannot do on their own or get most anywhere else. They also make having a portrait made at ND Pro Media a unique experience. It’s the experience and the resulting products together that is so important. It’s a formula that can work for anyone who is serious about making money in professional photography.

In Nuby’s own words, “I had a photography business for six years working out of my home. All the other studios in the area were closing down but I felt that if I had a real studio and a projected background system, I could build my whole business around it so I applied for a grant from the county to open a downtown studio with the goal of helping to revitalize the downtown area. The Scene Machine projected Virtual Backgrounds system was a key component of my grant application in that it would make our studio completely different from all others in the past and bring people back to the downtown area. We explained in the grant application how the projected Virtual Backgrounds process was totally revolutionizing portrait photography and putting it back in the hands of the professional.

My grant was approved and I leased 2,300 square feet of space over a restaurant. Photographers universally told us that we were crazy opening a new studio in a nearly dead downtown with literally a ton of part time photographers working out of their homes charging almost nothing. The last operating studio in a nearby town closed down just as we were opening so the owner could just do location photography. Therefore, the last two studios standing in the area were us and Wal-Mart, and we know what happened to the Wal-Mart studios!

“We opened in June 2012 with an open house. A typical ribbon cutting in the entire county had 20-30 in attendance. We had over 150 attend including the mayor and other public officials. A representative from the local newspaper came and they were so enthralled by our studio that they spent two days with us which resulted in a full page story on the front page of the Business Section. Instead of an ad, we were the news!

“We have been amazed at the public’s response to projected Virtual Backgrounds…it is even greater than we expected. We went from selling pictures to providing a total overall experience. Word about what we do quickly spread throughout the area and we now have some customers who drive hours to come to our studio.”

“We do just about everything with projected backgrounds. For Christmas, we had a total Santa experience with a very real looking Santa and an elf. Before each child arrived, we got detailed information about that child from the parents and this was then given to Santa and the Elf. The kids couldn’t believe all that Santa and the Elf knew about them. Our average sale for Santa pictures was about $200 with one sale reaching $800. They bought an album of pictures and even a large canvas wall portrait. Each child had a total “Santa Experience.”

We have expanded into all kinds of photography specials including fairies and theme photography. We just got our first school contract. We will be using projected backgrounds for that as well. We even do wedding photography in our studio. The county courthouse is a block away from our studio and instead of getting married there, we have some who get married in our studio and we use a variety of projected Virtual Backgrounds. We even have done virtual honeymoon photographs for couples who may not have time to even leave the county. We also offer a “lifetime” portrait program which enables the families to come back again and again for new portraits as their family grows. We also do dance schools and we are shooting video through our projected background system.

Nuby has a Scene Machine Digital VB system with a 9 wide x 8 high portable screen which he can easily take on location. It was the very first thing he ordered when he got his grant approved because it was a key to his approach. “I came in to photography from a career as a graphic designer and sound engineer for 17 years. What attracted me to Virtual Backgrounds was coming from a background in fashion lighting, I am into creative lighting and there is so much more you can do with creative lighting using the VB than you can do with green screen. I hate green screen. There are always technical issues and lighting is so limited.”

“As soon as an image is taken, it shows up on a 47 inch monitor which is right next to my camera. Parents can see the monitor and already know what the set is like with the background. Right after the session, we transport everything via wireless to the sales room with a big 60 inch TV. This approach really helps sales.”

Nuby is even using Virtual Backgrounds for photo booth-type operations at weddings and other events. Only instead of just taking silly pictures, they also do some serious portrait photography. It is paying off.

“It’s funny. When we were first talking about buying a Virtual Backgrounds system, others told us to not buy it; that it didn’t work very well; that the results looked fake, that we couldn’t do full length, that it wouldn’t make any money. What’s really funny is that they were all wrong. VB does all those things that they thought it wouldn’t do.”

“One thing that really helped us was attending the VB Discover the Possibilities workshop which was taught by Trevon Baker. We learned so much not only about the equipment but also about marketing. Projected Virtual Backgrounds is as much a marketing tool as it is a photography tool. There are just so many possibilities. VB gets people talking, especially on social media. Social media is one of our best marketing methods.”

“Studios may be going out of business all over the place and many people are crying about how bad the business is but it’s been our experience that if you provide the public with something really special, they will come.”

At VB, we love hearing from our customers like Nuby and Matthew and are anxious to share their story with others. Projected Virtual Backgrounds is a dream system for creative business-minded photographers.

Visit the ND Pro Media website.

Visit their Facebook page and watch this video of awesome images too!

Visit our VB YouTube Channel

Have you visited the VB YouTube Channel (virtualbackgroundstx). Many photographers have never heard of projected Virtual Backgrounds or they think it is just a gimmick. Here is a chance to discover a great deal of information about projected Virtual Backgrounds and what it can do for you. Seeing is believing! As you watch, just Imagine the Possibilities. You can have this tool in your hands.

Visit the VB YouTube Channel now.

6 Responses to October 2013

  • Ron Watson

    Hi Henry,

    Just a note to tell you your emails and web site looks great and has really improved. Great to see you using Youtube to your advantage as well.
    Hope you’re healthy and doing well, you deserve it.
    We’re enjoying the Florida weather now that it has begun to cool down.

    with best regards,
    Ron Watson
    President, American Press Association
    1530 S.E. 14th Court
    Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
    (978) 413-3933

    Photography records the gamut of feelings written in the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.
    Edward Steichen. Time, April 7, 1961

    We all cry and laugh but never at the same time or for the same reason. It is up to the photographer to catch the instant that is the reality of the person or of the moment.
    Edward Steichen, ibid.

  • chinyere

    Hello, pls how much is a complete VB projector now?

    • Virtual Backgrounds

      Hello Chinyere! Please contact our office at 512-524-7085 or email [email protected] so one of our consultants can be in contact with you ASAP with more info and pricing!

  • David Heaton

    I really enjoyed this months article. It is great to see someone success at this profession. I personally have been not using my VB system to it’s potential. Stories like this give me courage.



  • Debra Weisheit

    I’m barely using my VB system and am faced with having to shut down my studio after 10 years in business here to do something to get people in the door for something different. VB is one of the things that I’ve really given a lot of thought to lately. Then I read this article . . . I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the fairy images being shown and had wanted to do a fairy series . . how is that being set up? What back ground and what’s being added to the floor? I’d love to give that a try and see if I can start getting people off the beach and into the studio!

  • Virtual Backgrounds


    Thank you for your comments. Projected virtual backgrounds…more and
    more…are becoming the key way to get people back in to the professional
    studio. It is the last tool left that is not also in the hands of the
    amateurs and professionals at every level. But, it has to be used and
    promoted in certain ways.

    The problem today is to get people in front of the camera. Once they get
    there, they buy and they may buy a lot but getting them in is the issue.
    VB helps with that so much. For example, if you use it for the fairy or
    theme type photography, amateurs can not do that…and most professionals
    cannot do it either. It is a style of photography that pulls on the heart
    strings of the parents and grandparents. It is a special way to record a
    special time in life. But assuming you have the ability to do this, how
    do you get the word out?

    You can advertise and work hard to get individual people to get interested
    and schedule. OR, you can work through others with a special
    promotion…fund raising…that is a win for them, a win for the customer
    and a win for the photographer. It takes a little time to think this
    through and get it set up but if you make it simple for a group to do, it
    becomes a fund raiser. They go out and sell coupons for let’s say 25 or
    even 50.00 and that entities them to come in for a special sitting at a
    time set by you. You don’t care show they get donations from…their own
    family or from someone on the street. But, the group sells the session
    and keeps the donation and you get to photograph the children. It works
    so well but surprisingly, so few photographers try it.

    Think about it…most every group is looking for fund raising. Why should
    not your photography be a part of it? We still have a few CDs that Dan
    Gutier put together in which he explained his entire process. He is the
    most successful photographer doing this that I know of. Call your VB
    consultant about it.

    There are so many other special applications for VB…and ways to turn it
    in to a money machine. Have you come to one of our workshops? We talk
    about marketing a good bit.

    Let us help you. These are difficult times but look at the Nuby DeLeon
    store in the Backgrounder. It can be done.

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